• Christmas

    Christmas Day

    In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be registered, each to his own town.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths…

  • Christmas,  Cocktails,  Crime Fiction

    2018 Crime Fiction, Booze and Music

    A Christmas roundup of crime fiction, booze and music. BOOKS.  A little late for Christmas, but why give them away?  Read them yourself. From The Rap Sheet, edited and written mostly by J. Kingston Pierce, some 2018 favorites: Part I here  and Part II here.  And even a few more lists here. From Vulture, here are The 10 Best Crime Books of 2018 Opium smugglers, mad scientists, Instagram socialites, and serial killers fictional and real. Then, Crimereads gives us . . . From across the water, the Telegraph lays out The best thrillers and crime fiction of 2018, and the Irish Times lists The best crime fiction of 2018. A few of…

  • Directors and Officers,  Indemnification

    Les (Not Paul) and Indemnification of Directors and Officers

    Indemnification of directors and officers often rears its head in white-collar matters and internal investigations.  Here is an interesting take by James Stewart on the Les Mooves situation (click on image for article): Mr. Moonves, of course, was until recently the long-time, influential chief executive of CBS.  He was fired after an internal investigation into complaints of sexual harassment (click on image for article): In part, Mr. Stewart notes that: Mr. Moonves has the right to challenge the board’s decision in a confidential arbitration proceeding, and he could also sue for breach of contract. In the interview, Mr. Moonves said he hadn’t yet decided whether to pursue arbitration. But why wouldn’t…

  • Special Counsel

    More SiriusXM: Flynn, Cohen and Manafort

      A great deal happened last week in the world of Special Counsel Mueller, including the outcomes afforded three different defendants: Mike Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.  I was delighted to be again on Sirius XM’s POTUS channel with host Olivier Knox of “The Big Picture” to run down the week’s events:    

  • Cocktails,  FCPA

    Foreign Corruption, Pilot Program, Aviation Cocktail

    The Republic is now a year out from DOJ’s announcement that its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act “pilot program”  was to be made permanent.  Some would say that the anniversary calls for alcohol either in joy or in sorrow.  Perhaps an old cocktail, recently revived?  One consistent with the “pilot” theme?  Let’s try the Aviation: Drink in hand, you can sit down and read  FCPA Compliance 1 Year After DOJ Revised Policy by my Lightfoot colleagues Brandon Essig, Tenley Armstrong, and Jeff Doss (and me): Because of the risks, the dollars and the players, the FCPA connotes sophistication to the point of mystery and complexity to the point of opacity. We propose that…

  • FCPA

    Vantage Drilling, General Lee and the Culture of Compliance

    Gin is a noble spirit; without vermouth, perhaps a lonely one.  Similarly, having a compliance program, yet failing to follow it in the presence of some red flags is both lonely and expensive, as we see in the internal accounting controls FCPA case that Vantage Drilling recently settled with the SEC.  Is this a problem with culture?  And what is “culture,” anyway, in terms of FCPA compliance? Except perhaps for “paradigm” and “silo,” the word “culture” is one of the most abused in the vocabulary of compliance, ethics and consultants.  (I once heard a consultant say that he needed “a high hover over the silos.”  I thought it an ironic mash-up…

  • Cocktails,  jazz,  Theology

    Thanksgiving Notebook: Bing, Booze, Book of Common Prayer

    Unlike the music of Christmas or Easter, the music of Thanksgiving is harder to pinpoint.  Shuffling leaves?  The drum-brush strokes of a knife carving the turkey?  Vince Guaraldi, an early lead-up to Christmas through the dim or vivid Charlie Brown television-memories of readers of a certain age?  An uncertain business, but here are a couple of thoughts. First, when in doubt, start in the seventeenth century.  The “Te Deum & Jubilate for Voices and Instruments made for St. Cecilia’s Day 1694” of Henry Purcell was apparently performed as a Thanksgiving piece, as noted by Michael Evans Kinney and the Stanford libraries: While not much is known about the early St.…

  • Cocktails

    The Gibson: Thanks, Given

    If one writes poetry in bound verse, the poet must follow the rules or the form loses its character.  “Blank verse” is written in un-rhymed iambic pentameter.  It can be written in another form, or no form at all, but it will no longer be blank verse.  The thing is its form. Similarly, the martini is (or should be) akin to the bound verse of cocktails.  The true list of potential alcohols — gin, vermouth — is austere.  There are two popular garnishes — the twist and the olive — and one nearly forgotten: the cocktail onion.  The combination of gin, vermouth and a cocktail onion (or two or three)…

  • Grand Jury,  Search Warrants

    Search Warrants, Subpoenas, and Danish Existentialism

    The “what-to-do-when-the-FBI-shows up” spiel is, admittedly, a well-worn trope on the white-collar panel-discussion circuit, a talk accompanied by coffee in styrofoam cups (in the morning) or dry chicken-breasts on buffet steam-tables (in the evening).  Unless the audience is virginal in its dalliance with law enforcement, the shock effect of talking about search warrants is lost, and the delivery becomes boring, leading us to that nineteenth-century Danish existentialist, Soren Kierkegaard. Yet, the subject is a serious one for corporations and for individual businesspersons.  As we have noted before, law-enforcement techniques — including search warrants — that were once limited to organized crime, drug dealers or motorcycle gangs are now used with…